Essay on Firearms Prohibitions and Domestic Violence Convictions

3 pages
693 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Domestic violence is regarded as a severe crime to the persons and the community at large. Therefore, Lautenberg amendments act of 1968 and implemented in 1996, offers comprehensive measures to prevent the use of firearms in domestic violence (Halstead 2001). In this regard, the amendment prohibits sale and possession of a gun to a person convicted of a felony crime of domestic violence. However, the implementation of the act has had an enormous impact on the police officers who respond to calls regarding domestic violence. In most cases, police officers fail to respond and handle the incidences of domestic violence appropriately. This exposes the individuals to great danger that may include death. Therefore, with the implementation of the act, police officers treat domestic violence as a criminal offense and consider it their work and not social work.

Additionally, the amendment act has an impact on police officers accused of domestic violence but not convicted. Notably, the law provides that cases of police officers involved in domestic violence should be treated separately and away from the public. However, this is not an exception for police officers from being convicted (Halstead 2001). In fact, the accusation of a police officer has a significant impact on the officers career and reputation. Firstly, police officers domestic abuse dramatically differs from the civilians. As observed, police officers have undergone training and are more onerous and more dangerous compared to other people. Secondly, police officers have a responsibility to protect the people, and hence their involvement in domestic violence violates their institutional mandate. Therefore, police officers accused and convicted have to undergo strict scrutiny to determine the actual evidence and their participation in the abuse.

Majorly, implementation of the amendment act has a high impact on the police officers convicted of domestic violence. Indeed, the statute provides that police officers involved in domestic abuse undergo scrutiny before conviction. Certainly, the bill offers police officers a different sentence from the civilians due to their experience, knowledge, and ability to possess a firearm which is in line with their duty (Halstead 2001). In this regard, convicted officers cannot own, maintain or acquire privately owned ammunition. Furthermore, they have an affirmative and a continuing obligation of informing their seniors on the qualifying convictions. Unfortunately, an officer may be barred from being reinstated or receives a transfer to an area prohibiting the use of firearms.

Similarly, other industries and professionals have been impacted by the amendment act, especially when someone has been convicted of domestic violence within their fields. The professionals include the state and the federal law amendment officials, and the military. However, cases of domestic violence involving soldiers may not be typical due to their strict procedures regarding firearms distribution and use. In comparison to police officers, the military persons do not have access to weapons more often and mostly use the weapons during training and certification. Besides, the implementation of the act has an impact on the military job security. Unlike before, the military had been exempted from all gun control laws for the security of their job, until Lautenberg act was implemented.

The Lautenberg amendment act could be feasibly expanded further. The expansion would put into considerations the illogical conclusion that all persons convicted of domestic violence no matter how long it occurred are banned from possessing a gun. The act should be apparent on the maximum number of years for the ban. Also, it is crucial for the amendment not to have prevented the exception of public interest and allowed the police officers to own firearms. After all, they need the guns for the security of their jobs.

The Lautenberg amendment has significantly been upheld by the courts despite its vagueness and lack of clarity on some of the execution procedures (Halstead 2001). Therefore, implementation of new proposals would be disregarded considerably. Ultimately, the expansion of the original plan would not be successful. This is because; the amendment act itself faces a lot of constitutional challenges from being vague to lack of clarity. Hence, implementation of new proposals to an already ambiguous bill would be a more significant challenge.


Halstead, T. J. (2001). Firearms prohibitions and domestic violence convictions: The Lautenberg Amendment. Congressional Research Service.

Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: